update deskIsrael at War

Israel: Civilians killed by fire that broke out after Rafah strike

The IDF said the strike was carried out in accordance with international law and that it took steps to avoid civilian casualties.

Palestinians inspect damage after an Israeli airstrike west of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, May 27, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Palestinians inspect damage after an Israeli airstrike west of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, May 27, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Noncombatants were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah on Sunday night due to a fire that broke out after the attack, an Israeli government spokesperson said on Monday.

The Israel Defense Forces earlier said that it was investigating Palestinian media reports that dozens of Gazan civilians were killed and wounded in the strike on a Hamas compound in the city’s northwestern Tel Sultan section.

The targets of the strike were named as Yassin Rabia, the head of Hamas’s Judea and Samaria headquarters, and Khaled Nagar, a senior official in the terrorist group’s Judea and Samaria wing.

The IDF spokesperson said earlier that the strike was carried out in accordance with international law, was based on intelligence and executed using precision weaponry. However, the spokesperson continued, “The claim is known that as a result of the attack and a fire that broke out in the area, a number of non-involved people were injured. The incident is under investigation.”

The IDF announced on Monday afternoon that the military advocate general ordered a probe into the incident led by the General Staff’s investigation mechanism—an independent body that is not subordinate to Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi.

“The mechanism is investigating the circumstances of the deaths of civilians in the area of ​​the attack. The IDF regrets any injuries to those not involved in hostilities,” the army statement said.

Rabia and Nagar carried out terrorist attacks in the early 2000s in Judea and Samaria that killed and wounded Israeli civilians and soldiers, the military said. They also transferred funds for terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria and planned and directed attacks there.

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